BILL CLINTON'S NEW PORTRAIT
A select group of Manhattan art lovers (including jazz expert and Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch and longtime Harlem Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel) assembled at the Studio Museum in Harlem yesterday for the unveiling of a new portrait of President Bill Clinton by artist Frederick J. Brown, who is currently the subject of an impressive retrospective there, "Frederick J. Brown: Portraits in Jazz, Blues and Other Icons," Apr. 23-June 29, 2003. The former president joked that when it came to portraits, he was always a little uncomfortable -- "you're afraid it's going to look like you, and you're afraid it won't," he said. Standing in front of the modestly sized crowd along with the artist and Studio Museum director Lowery Sims, Clinton added that "I try to express the good will I feel, in the work I do, and I think you somehow captured that -- for which I'm eternally grateful." Brown's rendition of the former commander in chief gives him a bit of a pompadour and a rascally smile, an air not unsuited to the portraits of jazz greats hanging nearby. The portrait is on view at the Studio Museum until the end of the show, when it moves to Clinton's office.
ANDERSON OUT AT WHITNEY, AGAIN
Fueled by a tip from a reliable source, Artnet Magazine reported last month that people were saying that Max Anderson was out as director of the Whitney Museum. Our gossip item, included at the tail end of a "Weekend Update" column, was greeted with an official denial by a museum spokesman and a personal request for "a retraction and correction" from Anderson. "I will never lie to you," he wrote in a subsequent email, claiming that he was the subject of a misinformation campaign. Now, a month later, the 47-year-old Anderson has "resigned" his post at the Whitney after five years on the job, according to a story in the New York Times. Ace art-world reporter Carol Vogel attributes the change in employ to the museum board's rejection of a $200-million expansion scheme and the generally tepid response to the museum's exhibitions during Anderson's tenure. The search for a new director begins apace. Anderson, who earned more than $548,000 as a museum director in 2001 according to the museum's IRS form 990, is purportedly taking a job at the "Chief Executive Leadership Institute" at the Yale School of Management.
WALKER CUTS NEW MEDIA
Fresh from the success of the "How Latitudes Become Forms," Feb. 9-May 4, 2003, an international show of contemporary art that included an extensive web component, the Walker Art Center has dismissed its "New Media" curator Steve Dietz and curtailed the department's ambitious curatorial activities, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Walker has laid off seven employees in all for a savings of about $1 million, bringing its current operating budget down from $15.5 million to $14 million in 2004. The Walker's $90-million expansion, designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron and due to be completed in 2005, is not affected by the cutbacks.
MAURICE PRENDERGAST AT ADELSON GALLERIES
The latest major loan exhibition to make an appearance at Adelson Galleries in the Mark Hotel on East 77th Street in Manhattan is "Maurice Prendergast: Paintings of America," May 16-June 20, 2003. The first show to focus on the artist's American scenes features 58 lucid watercolors and architectonic oils, largely images of picnics and beach scenes, and includes many works on loan from museums, including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art. The attractive 176-page color catalogue includes a memoir by Warren Adelson about Eugénie Prendergast, the artist's sister-in-law and posthumous champion, along with essays by Williams College curator Nancy Mowll Mathews and Pamela A. Ivinski, senior research associate for the Mary Cassatt catalogue raisonne committee. To coincide with this exhibition, the Whitney Museum -- which held its first show of the artist's work in 1934 -- is installing a gallery of works by Prendergast and his contemporaries, opening May 13 and remaining on view through the end of August.
FLOWERS IN NEW YORK
After 33 years in London, the Angela Flowers Gallery is opening a branch in New York City. Flowers, as it is called, opens on the second floor of 1000 Madison Avenue (between 77th and 78th Streets) on May 15, 2003, with an exhibition of gallery artists, including Nicola Hicks, Peter Howson, Patrick Hughes, John Keane, Tai-Shan Schierenberg and others. The gallery plans to start a series of solo shows in September. Matthew Flowers, who is co-director of the new enterprise with Emily Bishop, told Artnet News that the gallery had a large U.S. clientele. What's more, "the sales tax in the U.K. on contemporary art is 17.5 percent," Flowers said. "That makes the 8.25 percent sales tax in New York City a winning proposition." For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ART REVIEW OPENS NEW YORK OFFICE
The London-based Art Review magazine has become England's largest art magazine since it was taken over two years ago by publisher Dennis Holtz and editor Meredith Etherington-Smith (whose resume includes a bio of Salvador Dalí and role as curator of Christie's 1999 sale of property from the Marilyn Monroe estate). Now, the magazine has begun its conquest of the New York art world with a party introducing the magazine's U.S. publisher Michelle Clark and U.S. features editor Emma Gray, hosted by the Warhol collector Alberto Mugrabi, at the venerable Mr. Chow's restaurant in New York. "U.S. newsstand orders for the June issue have gone up by 35 percent," said Clark. "Circulation hovers at around 10,000 in America and 25,000 elsewhere." The June issue of Art Review features Maurizio Cattelan on the cover, in a photograph shot by Todd Eberle, as well as a special "Venice Survival Guide" section in anticipation of next month's Venice Biennale. The magazine's New York outpost is headquartered on West 13th Street next to the Alexander McQueen boutique. For more info, see www.art-review.com.
NEW CHELSEA BOOKSTORE
On May 22, 2003, Paula Cooper and Jack Macrae open the doors to their new bookstore and exhibition space at 192 10th Avenue and 21st Street. Dubbed 192 Books, the general-interest bookstore plans to host readings and book-signings as well as exhibitions on literature and art under the direction of Macrae, Cooper, Julie Baranes and Anthony Allen. The series kicks off with "Human Wrongs: Literature and the Art of Protest," which brings books by Voltaire and Susan Sontag together with art by Hans Haacke and Adrian Piper, among others. On opening night David Fromkin is slated to speak about his book, A Peace to End all Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. The store website (http://www.192books.com) goes online on June 15.
MUSEUM MILE FESTIVAL
New York's Museum Mile Festival for 2003 -- the event's 25th anniversary -- begins at 5:45 pm on June 10, with current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg on hand along with former mayor Ed Koch and Kitty Carlisle Hart, chairman emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts. Then, from 6 pm to 9 pm, the crowds flood in for free to the following Fifth Avenue museums: El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the National Academy of Design, the Guggenheim Museum, the Neue Galerie, the Goethe-Institut and the Metropolitan Museum. The fest also includes outdoor art activities, musical entertainers for children and street art by James De la Vega.